This Sax lesson covers how to play F on Alto Saxophone. The F note can be played in three octaves and with four different fingerings. You'll learn them all here so let's get started right now.
Playing the F note on Alto Saxophone
Instructions: In order to play the F note on your saxophone you need to use both hands. Your left hand goes on the upper part of the sax and your right hand on the lower part. Thumbs on the back of the saxophone palming your fingers around the body of the saxophone like a lego hand. You should also always be using a neck strap to relieve the pressure on your arms when holding your saxophone.
Play Low F on Alto Saxophone
The low F note on saxophone can be played using just four keys (and fingers). You start by fingering the B-A-G keys in your left hand while pushing down the F key in your right hand at the same time. That will give you the low F fingering on saxophone, using the B-A-G-F notes.
Play Middle F on Alto Saxophone
Once you've got the low F fingering (see above) figured out it's an easy task to play the middle F on your saxophone. Simply add the octave key (left thumb on the back of your sax) to the basic fingering – B, A, G, F and you have that middle F.
Practice tip: By practicing octave jumps between low F and middle F you will develop more control of your saxophone tone. This is a great exercise and you'll notice that it does take some practice to make those jumps while maintaining a solid saxophone tone. Try tonguing the notes as it gives you a bit more control over the start of each note.
Play High F note on Alto Saxophone
The High F can be played with two different fingerings on the alto saxophone. We will start with the basic high F fingering on saxophone, so that you can start practicing that first. A fair waring is that it will probably take a bit of practice to hit that high F and to play it with control. That's normal.
Basic high F fingering on alto saxophone
To play the high F you need to push down 4 keys in your left hand and 1 side key in your right hand. Push the 3 side keys in our left hand (called palm keys as the are in your palm) and the octave key on the back on your saxophone.
Add the right hand top side key to the fingering and you've just nailed the basic high F note fingering on saxophone. Congratulations!
That's the D, E-flat and F note fingering in your left hand with the octave key added together with the right hand top side key.
Note: You should keep the basic right hand fingering in place with the right thumb supporting under the thumb rest on the lower part of the saxophone.
Alternate high F fingering on alto saxophone
The alternate fingering for High F is also known as the Front F or Fork F on Saxophone. It is useful in chromatic lines and jumps from C to F.
If you already tried the basic high F fingering above you'll probably find this alternate High F fingering on your saxophone even easier.
And you may be thinking “Why didn't you start with this F fingering instead?”
Well, even if the alternate F fingering is useful you do need to master the basic high F fingering first to be able to play the more common combinations of notes in the higher register on the saxophone.
That being said (you get the point) let's get into the alternate high F fingering. It only requires your left hand and three fingers.
Start by fingering the High A (B & C keys + octave key). Now move your index finger (B key) one step up to that forked key. Now you have the forked F key, the C key and the octave key pushed in at the same time.
Want to learn all the Saxophone fingerings?
Great! Make sure to download the free Saxophone fingering chart PDF to keep as a reference when you practice your saxophone.